CAFB February News - Child Advocates of Fort Bend
CAFB February News

Happy 2019!

We are off to a busy start of the year!  We are excited to add new staff in the CAC to accommodate increases in the numbers of children and families, we are continuing our evening hour therapy pilot which has proven very successful, we are restocking our Treasure Room with more toys and games after a hugely successful Christmas with hundreds of toys and bikes distributed, and we are planning for all our upcoming events – Volunteer Banquet, Volunteer Training, Building Remodeling and Expansion, Gala and Friends Martini Night – just to name a few activities that are keeping us busy.  Thank you for all you do to provide a voice, heal the hurt and break the cycle of abuse and neglect for children in our community.  We look forward to a fabulous year ahead!

For the Children’s Sake,

Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend

Did You Know?

How you Give Can Determine How You Make the Most of Philanthropic Benefits

90% of wealth in America is in Non-cash Assets. Yet, when most people think of making a charitable gift to CAFB, they think of writing a check or making a gift online with a credit card. While all gifts are beneficial to charities, there are many ways you can give and add benefit to you through making a gift of other assets.

Making a gift of non-cash assets could help you in the following ways:

  • Lower your tax bill
  • Potentially avoid capital gains tax
  • Preserve cash, yet still make a gift today
  • Make greater gifts than you initially thought possible
  • Potentially avoid probate

Find out more at or contact Jessica Jubin, Development Officer to discuss your philanthropic needs and questions at 281-344-5136 or



DISCLAIMER: Information from CAFB is in no way intended as legal or tax advice. Please contact your attorney or tax professional about your specific situation. Examples and scenarios for planned giving are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change.Various laws and regulations may impact your specific results.

Meet Our New Team Members

We’ve Got New Faces at The Children’s Advocacy Center

Brenda Ramirez has joined the CAC as a Bilingual Forensic Interviewer/ Children’s Services Coordinator. She joins us from the Children’s Advocacy Center in Bay City.

Maggie McDougle, formerly an investigator with the Texas Department of Family Protective Services in Fort Bend County, is a our newest Forensic Interviewer.

Laura Zelaya is a Bilingual Services Specialist. She most recently worked as a case manager at Family Houston.

Shown (L to R) are Maggie McDougle, Laura Zelaya and Brenda Ramirez.

We are excited to have them all on our team!!


Changing Roles

The Children’s Advocacy Center is excited to announce that Heather Rashid will take on the role of Children’s Services Team Lead. She will oversee 8 children’s services coordinators and forensic interviewers. Former Team Lead Ophelia Mok will be moving to a part-time role as a Children’s Services Coordinator.

Heather, currently a Forensic Interviewer and Children’s Services Coordinator, has been with Child Advocates of Fort Bend for 11 years in various roles. She graduated from University of Houston with a MSW in 2015. Heather is also a licensed LMSW.

“Here’s to another 11 years!,” Heather said, adding she’s looking forward to her new role.

We are so excited to welcome Heather into this new position.


Trauma-Informed Advocacy for Children & Youth in Foster Care

Following the trauma-informed care survey and report issued last year (see below), Texas CASA, the Texas Children’s Commission and the Shield Ayers Foundation partnered to create a 1-hour training session to help Attorneys ad Litem, Guardians ad Litem and CASA volunteers advocate for children in a trauma-informed way. The presentation includes strategies for advocating for children in courtrooms, schools and placements to meet each child’s unique needs. There is also discussion about how trauma influences a child’s ability to communicate about the case and how to appropriately respond to trauma-related behaviors.

To watch the training session in the CASA College Learning Management System (LMS), please click the button below.
Watch the training session NOW

If you do not have a CASA College LMS account, please visit the CASA College E-Learning page to learn how you can get started.




CASA Day at the Capitol

Join us at the Texas State Capitol for the 2019 CASA Day at the Capitol on Feb. 5!

CASA Day at the Capitol is the day advocates join together, in a shared voice, to advocate for Texas children! Hundreds of CASA advocates from all over the state will fill the State Capitol to share their personal stories of advocacy and discuss legislation that can impact the lives of children. Wear your CASA blue and help us amp up our CASA advocacy!

Registration will close on January 22. CASA Day at the Capitol is free for all members of the CASA network; however, attendees have the option to purchase a lunch for $3 per person and t-shirt for $5 during the online registration process. Texas CASA boxed lunches and t-shirts will not be available for purchase on site.

Register NOW


Thanking ALL of Our Wonderful Volunteers!  
Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

On Thursday, January 30th we rolled out the red carpet (literally) to thank volunteers for all that they do for us at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at Sweetwater Country Club. Guests strutted down the red carpet while staff clapped and cheered as they entered the ballroom to kick off the celebration.

In 2018, Child Advocates of Fort Bend served a record 2,586 children, a 23% increase over the previous year. Our volunteers opened their hearts to support these children, fought tirelessly for their best interests, went the extra mile (or hundreds or thousands of miles) to mend their shattered lives and give these children hope. In fact, our generous volunteers traveled 92,918 miles and donated 16,969 hours of their time providing a voice so that children could be heard, healing their hurt and helping to break the cycle of abuse so that children and families can have bright futures and productive lives. The love that our volunteers show in their commitment and dedication to these children is priceless and will be forever remembered as they grow, thrive and learn that there are caring adults in this world who believe in their worth.

All of our volunteers are superstars in our book and we thank ALL of them for their service in 2018. A few volunteers and partners were recognized for exceptional service in 2018. Judge Ronald Pope was named 2018 Child Advocate of the Year. See who else was recognized for exceptional service in 2018 and view photos of this fun event.

See who was recognized



Help us Spread the Word

Invite us to talk to your business or community group

Child Advocates of Fort Bend would love to come speak at your business or community group. Our community education presentations focus on the types of abuse, how to keep children safe, and what to do if you suspect abuse. We also offer informational sessions for people who want to get to know our agency and the programming that we provide to children and families at Child Advocates of Fort Bend. Informational sessions will provide a snapshot of our CASA and CAC programs, as well as, information on our Voices for Children tours, Events Department and other opportunities to become involved with our agency. If you are interested in either presentation, please email Lindsey Castellanos, Recruiter/Outreach Coordinator, at


As we close out the 27th annual Christmas Home Tour we are reflecting on what our events mean to this generous community. We love that you get excited about what we are doing to raise funds for the children and families that we serve. It’s always our goal to make each event better than the year before. As we stay focused on our mission of providing a voice, healing the hurt and breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect for children in Fort Bend County – we are inspired and determined knowing that we have the strength of so many of you supporting us.

We hope you will stay engaged with us as we raise the bar for all of our events this year.

COMING IN 2019 …

  • Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on January 30th
  • Light of Hope in conjunction with The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Pinwheel Project on April 13th
  • Up, Up and Away Gala on May 4th
  • Voices for Children Breakfast on September 26th

If you have not been part of any of these events or you’d like to know more, please contact Lisa at


Save the Date for our 19th Annual Gala for the Children

This year’s event on May 4th at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square is themed Up, Up and Away. We’d love for you to join us for all the fun and to hear how we will tie the floating balloons and sky into our mission work. If you’d like to sponsor, attend, volunteer or donate contact Lisa at



Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors presents Day of Design Expo at Sweetwater Country Club on Thursday, February 28th from 11am-2pm. Your $20 advance reservation includes access to 20 vendors showcasing the newest design trends for 2019, complimentary appetizers and beverages, prizes and a raffle. Child Advocates of Fort Bend is the beneficiary of all proceeds from this expo. For more information contact Lisa

Details and reservations



FRIENDS Mission & Martinis

FRIENDS of Child Advocates of Fort Bend is hosting their annual Mission and Martinis membership social on Thursday, March 28th from 6pm until 8pm in a private home in Harvest Green. All are welcome to say hello and hear about the amazing things the FRIENDS group provides to the children served by CAFB. If you would like to attend or receive more information about what a $40 membership entails, please contact Kristin Stiles-Janossy at

Mark your calendar!
And make plans to join us. . .

February 4-5, 2019  CASA Day at the Capitol
Register NOW


May 4, 2019  Up, Up And Away Gala
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square

Details, sponsorship and reservations





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